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End of DST means more drowsy driving, night driving

The end of daylight saving time means an extra hour to sleep, but Minnesota residents who have to drive that day or the following day should prepare for drowsiness. The fact is that any change in one's sleep patterns can cause drowsiness, so the best thing is to go to bed at the time one normally does and then be as alert as possible the following day. Drowsiness can impair concentration and reaction times.

It's sobering to think that every year, drowsy driving leads to approximately 328,000 car crashes with some 6,400 involving a fatality and 50,000 involving debilitating injuries. Despite how 96% of drivers in AAA's 2018 Traffic Safety Culture Index said drowsy driving is dangerous, 27% admitted that they had engaged in it at least once in the past 30 days.

The end of daylight saving time not only induces drowsiness but also plunges drivers into darkness on their commute home. Lack of visibility puts drivers as well as pedestrians and cyclists at risk. AAA advises drivers to slow down and never pass vehicles that are stopped at a crosswalk. Headlights should be cleaned regularly. As for pedestrians and cyclists, they must cross only at intersections, wear reflective clothing and avoid listening to music or doing anything else that takes away from the road.

Most auto accidents are caused through negligence, and drowsy driving is one example of negligence. Those who have incurred an injury may be reimbursed for their medical costs, pain and suffering, lost wages and other damages by filing a personal injury claim, but they may want a lawyer to assist them. It can be hard to prove drowsy driving, but with a lawyer, victims may be able to achieve a fair settlement.

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